A Colne councillor and a prospective Barnoldswick representative are planning to sleep rough in March to highlight the plight of homeless young people.
Barnoldswick Town FC goalkeeper Lyle Davy and County Coun. Paul White will be ditching their mattresses for the flags of Barlick Town Square on Saturday, March 8th, to raise money for YMCA Blackburn, who help people in Pendle with nowhere to turn.
The duo are aiming to raise money for the YMCA so that the organisation can provide more bed space for what is a growing problem. Nationally, it provides 9,000 beds each night to young people.
Coun. Paul White said: “Our aim is two-fold really. We want to raise awareness, that this is an issue for young people who might not necessarily know where to turn.
“You might not see them in shop doorways, but for example one young man who the YMCA has helped locally had spent two years sofa surfing.
“We’re talking about a really bright kid, who’d ended up in that situation through no fault of his own.
“We want to provide the funding so that the local branch is in a position to help.”
The Citizens Advice Bureau said that numbers are on the rise and these can be for a variety of reasons such as relationship breakdown at home, unemployment and high property prices and rental.
It said the number of its clients aged between 17 and 24 without a roof over their head had increased by 57% from 2007/08 to 2012/13.
The charity also said there had been a 39% increase in problems for young people threatened with the prospect of homelessness during the recession years, and despite early signs of growth again, there was still a hangover.
Lyle, a 17-year-old business student at Nelson and Colne College, said: “We’ve had a lot of interest already, particularly through the college.
“I know some of my lecturers will be joining in, and Joe Cooney, Leader of Pendle Borough Council will sleeping rough too.
“It’s a really important issue, and it seems to be connecting with a lot of young people. The response has been terrific.
“It’s great to be able to get young people together to do good for the wider community, and it’s fantastic that any money raised by us will be used here in Pendle. Just £1,000 would provide one young person for somewhere to stay for two years.”
To sign up to #SleepEasyBarlick please visit the website at www.sleepeasybarlick.co.uk to sign up to join the team, or to sponsor.